Category Archives: HIV/AIDS

Looking back at 2013

At the end of GAF4, student volunteers and Piyashi DebRoy (winner of GAF4 AquaFish CRSP Best Student Paper award congratulate all GAF4 participatns.

At the end of GAF4, student volunteers and Piyashi DebRoy (winner of GAF4 AquaFish CRSP Best Student Paper award congratulate all GAF4 participatns.

In 2013, the website continued to develop as a global source of information sharing and news. Compared to 2012, the number of visitors grew by 16%, to over 17,000 for the year. The visitors came from even more countries than last year (163 countries, compared to 154 countries in 2012). The top 5 countries of our visitors were: India (3,695), USA (1,804), UK (1,124), Philippines (1,078), Malaysia (705).  Click here to see the complete report for 2013.

World map of visitors to, 2013. source: WordPress Stats

World map of visitors to, 2013. source: WordPress Stats

Summary table of visits by region 2013

By region, most visits came from Asia, followed by Europe and North America. The visits are no doubt driven not only by the interest in the topics on our website, but also by the fact that information is only in English and that internet access varies greatly across the world. We would welcome links with multi-lingual partners to share similar information and translate posts to mutual benefit.

Here is a snapshot of information from our 47 new posts and several new pages for the year!

REGIONS. Asia, Africa and Europe have been the regions most covered. Other regions were not forgotten. We covered Oceania, the Americas, and West Asia/Middle East. We even featured a story on Arctic fisheries.

THEMES. Many themes ran through our posts and events for the year. Just a few to highlight were: change, climate change, post-harvest, gender in the workplace, gendered labour studies and HIV/AIDS were just a few.

EVENTS. The main gender in aquaculture and fisheries events of 2013 that we reported were:

– the 4th Global Forum on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF4) in Yeosu, Korea; and
– the  Center for Maritime Research’s (MARE) People and the Sea conference held a session entitled ” Engaging Gender for Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods and Improved Social Wellbeing: Perspectives from the Global North and South,” in Amsterdam in June. 

PUBLICATIONS. We highlighted many new publications in our posts, including one of our own, the Special Issue of the Asian Fisheries Science journal containing papers and an overview from our 2011 GAF3 Symposium.

PEOPLE. We are endeavouring to give more profile to the leaders – the people with a passion to make a difference – who supply the news and lead the studies and projects. This is a relatively new initiative, so not all of our leaders are highlighted in the posts. You can a check out a few who are through this link: posts on people.

SOCIAL MEDIA. Our Facebook page, Twitter feed, Genderaquafish Google Group, and Flickr media outreach is all integrated, although each has different, sometimes overlapping, audiences. all audiences continued to grow slowly. Piyashi Deb Roy and Danika Kleiber have stepped up to do the regular posts to the Google Group (a big thanks to both Piyashi and Danika!) and Angela Lentisco help with a sterling job tweeting during the GAF4 event [read the tweets for day 1, day 2, day 3] (a big thanks, Angela!). N.C Shyla gave tremendous support in the posts and webpages for GAF4 (a big thanks for your work, N.C.!). 

2014 promises to be another big year for gender in aquaculture and fisheries. Thank you all for your support as readers, contributors and commentators. Your contributions, suggestions and feedback are always welcome!

Lake Victoria Fishermen’s Spouses Who Travel More at Risk of HIV/AIDS

Fish market, Kisimu County, Kenya. Photo source:

Fish market, Kisimu County, Kenya. Photo source:

The new study by Zachary A. Kwena, Carol S. Camlin, Chris A. Shisanya, Isaac Mwanzo, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, carried out in Kisimu County, near Lake Victoria, Kenya, delves into social patterns of mobility and the risks it brings for contracting HIV/AIDS.

Short-Term Mobility and the Risk of HIV Infection among Married Couples in the Fishing Communities along Lake Victoria, Kenya

PLOS ONE: download paper here 

Also check out links below for other recent papers on HIV/AIDS in Uganda Lake Victoria fishing communities.


Objective: Mobility has long been associated with high HIV prevalence. We sought to assess sex differences in the relationship between mobility and risk for HIV infection among married couples in the fishing communities.

Methods: We conducted 1090 gender-matched interviews and rapid HIV testing with 545 couples proportionally representing all the different sizes of the fish-landing beaches in Kisumu County. We contacted a random sample of fishermen as our index participants and asked them to enrol in the study together with their spouses. The consenting couples were separated into different private rooms for concurrent interviews and thereafter reunited for couple rapid HIV counselling and testing. In addition to socio-economic and behavioural data, we collected information on overnight travels and divided couples in 4 groups as follows both partners not mobile, both partners mobile, only woman mobile, and only man mobile. Other than descriptive statistics, we used X2 and U tests to compare groups of variables and multivariate logistic regression to measure association between mobility and HIV infection.

Results: We found significant differences in the number of trips women travelled  in the preceding month (mean 4.6, SD 7.1) compared to men (mean 3.3, SD 4.9; p,0.01) and when the women did travel, they were more likely to spend more days away from home than their male partners (mean 5.2 [SD 7.2] versus 3.4 SD 5.6; p = 0.01). With an HIV prevalence of 22.7% in women compared to 20.9% among men, mobile women who had non-mobile spouses had 2.1 times the likelihood of HIV infection compared to individuals in couples where both partners were non-mobile.

Conclusion: The mobility of fishermen’s spouses is associated with HIV infection that is not evident among fishermen themselves. Therefore, interventions in this community could be a combination of sex-specific programming that targets women and combined programming for couples.

Also read about other studies regarding HIV/AIDS in fishing communities around Lake Victoria, from Uganda.

HIV: behavioural survey and tests in Uganda fishing communities


by Alex Opio, Michael Muyonga & Noordin Mulumba July, 2011.

This study was done for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization. It counters some common misconceptions about the level of knowledge of HIV among fishing communities although it also reveals that more education and health services are needed to contain the spread of the disease.

Extracted from the Executive Summary (download the full document)

Also see related Post on HIV/AIDS in Uganda:

The survey was conducted in forty six fishing communities of the Lake Victoria Basin of Uganda in August 2010 to establish HIV prevalence among fishing communities, the associated drivers of risk and vulnerability; and the effectiveness of HIV and AIDS response.

A total of 911 women and men aged 15-59 years were randomly selected and interviewed by four fieldwork teams. Of the 911 respondents, 559 (61 percent) are men and 352 (39 percent) are women. Twenty two percent of the surveyed fishing community members are infected with HIV; HIV prevalence among women is higher (25.1 percent) than among men (20.5 percent). HIV prevalence is highest among widows/widowers (40 percent) followed by that among divorced people (32 percent). Overall, HIV prevalence is higher among uncircumcised men and respondents with STI than in circumcised men and respondents without STI, respectively. HIV prevalence is 11 percent in circumcised men and 27 percent in uncircumcised men.

Radio is the commonest source of HIV/AIDS information and education. Of all information acquired on HIV prevention methods, limiting sex to one partner is perceived as the most important information acquired from the radios.

Overall levels of knowledge on single measures of prevention are high but the level of comprehensive knowledge is moderate; being 38 percent among women and 41 percent among men. The level of comprehensive knowledge is higher among those with secondary or higher level of education compared to those who stopped at primary level. Misconception about HIV/AIDS is low in the surveyed fishing communities. Multiple sexual partnerships are more common in men than in women. Those respondents whose origin is 100 kilometers or more from the current place of residence are more likely to report engagement in multiple sexual relationships than those born in the area of current residence. Safe sex [practices, number of partners.

Overall, 77 percent of women and 62 percent of men reported that they have ever had HIV tests. Therefore, women were more likely than men to have received HIV testing. About one third of respondents said that they got tested in the last 12 months and received their results.

Among the key recommendations are the following:

  • Use the results of this survey to raise people’s awareness of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on women and men in the fishing communities, and also to highlight the vulnerability of women in the fisheries sector.
  • Develop and implement innovative service delivery initiatives which would include: Surgical camps for male circumcision, mobile service delivery teams/Outreaches condom vending machines, STI screening and treatment.
  • Initiate tailored programmes using peer-education, life skills promotion, local radio programmes, mobile phones for message dissemination, and entertainment education approaches.
  • Implement income generation initiatives targeting women. Consider establishing income saving approaches using mobile banking.
  • Develop and implement a gender mainstreaming advocacy strategy targeting promotion of policies and laws that protect women against violence and exploitation.
  • Innovative approaches should be sought to address the transport and communication barrier so as to increase access to health services to the hard-to-reach fishing communities. For instance, mobile phones could be used as an avenue to disseminate general health and HIV-related messages.
  • A special comprehensive HIV prevention and care programme for fishing communities is needed to address the unique characteristics of these communities.
  • A special funding for primary health care provision needs to be provided in the islands because primary health care services are grossly inadequate in the islands. Also, improve the health infrastructure and the provision of drugs and supplies to support service delivery.
  • Establish a regional hub of good practices for interventions among fishing communities.
  • Coordination of community response needs to be strengthened.

Uganda fishing communities: study on HIV/AIDS rates in women and men

HIV and syphilis prevalence and associated risk factors among fishing communities of Lake Victoria, Uganda

By Gershim Asiki, Juliet Mpendo, Andrew Abaasa, Collins Agaba, Annet Nanvubya, Leslie Nielsen, Janet Seeley, Pontiano Kaleebu, Heiner Grosskurth, Anatoli Kamali

Link (access required for full paper)

Correspondence to Dr Gershim Asiki, Medical Research Council Research Unit on AIDS, Uganda Virus Research Institute, PO Box 49 Entebbe, Uganda;

This large study is one of the first to study HIV/AIDS, syphilis prevalence and risk factors in women as well as men in fishing communities, many previous studies having only focused on fishermen. An extract from the abstract follows:

Objectives Recent publications suggest that fishing populations may be highly affected by the HIV epidemic. However, accurate data are scarce. The authors determined HIV and syphilis prevalence and associated risk factors in a fishing population of Lake Victoria in Uganda.

Conclusion This fishing population characterised by a very high HIV prevalence, high syphilis prevalence and frequently reported sexual risk behaviours, urgently needs improved STI services and targeted behavioural interventions.

For one of the first papers to highlight the high rates of HIV/AIDS in some fishing communities, see Mary Huang’s paper in the proceedings of the AFS 1st Global Symposium on Gender and Fisheries (p 49-53 in and Williams (2008) ( – access required: author contact